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News Release, Published: 
Monday, April 23, 2012
The City of Seattle needs to develop clear and transparent policies for the use of aerial drones as a tool in law enforcement, the ACLU of Washington said today. Guidelines are needed to protect personal privacy against improper use of drones and to ensure that government does not use the technology to engage in surveillance of political activity.
Published: 
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
If there truly is reason to believe there is evidence of a crime in a vehicle, it is easy enough for the officer to secure the vehicle and obtain a warrant. It’s only in cases where a warrant would be difficult to obtain — cases where there is nothing more than a hunch at play — that this exception comes into play.
Published: 
Friday, April 6, 2012
Monday mornings can be difficult for all of us, but this week an extra distressing piece of news arrived at the week’s start. It was the United States Supreme Court’s ruling grossly expanding the circumstances in which a person can be strip-searched. It’s a reminder of one reason I’m glad that I live in Washington state.
Published: 
Friday, January 27, 2012
Since the turn of the century, juvenile courts have been separate from adult courts. The goal of juvenile courts, as the Supreme Court recognized over 50 years ago, is to determine how to rehabilitate juveniles and “save [them] from a downward career.” To further these goals, juvenile court records have historically been shielded from public view. This system allows juveniles to enter adulthood without being publicly labeled as criminals.
Published: 
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The United States Supreme Court on Monday unanimously decided that law enforcement needs a warrant to place a GPS tracking device on a vehicle. We applaud the Supreme Court for ruling correctly that warrantless installation of a GPS device violates the Fourth Amendment.
Published: 
Thursday, December 8, 2011
The Washington Department of Transportation announced today that tolling will start on the SR 520 bridge on December 29. This will be Washington’s first all-electronic toll bridge—meaning there will be no toll booths—and by far the highest volume all-electronic toll facilities in the country. There are lots of advantages to eliminating toll booths (e.g., less congestion, greater safety), but there are also drawbacks, potentially including a loss of privacy. 
Published: 
Friday, October 21, 2011
In the early months of 1986, my parents bought my sister and me our first computer, an Apple IIe, and all of a sudden I was playing Oregon Trail at home, in color no less! That summer, I watched in awe as Ferris Bueller effortlessly hacked his way into the school computer to change his absences. He was indeed a righteous dude, and thus began my ill-fated campaign to acquire a modem.
Published: 
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
The United States Supreme Court soon is going to consider a case involving warrantless use of a GPS tracking device, in a case the New York Times has called “the most important Fourth Amendment case in a decade.”
Published: 
Friday, September 16, 2011
As flu season approaches, Washingtonians should be thankful that they can still purchase the highly effective decongestant pseudoephedrine over the counter and don’t need to get a prescription (which some states now require). However, they should also be somewhat disgruntled that they must now have their personal information (name, address, amount purchased) submitted into a newly created database that will track their purchases. Since 2005, paper logs had to be maintained for pseudoephedrine sales in Washington, but there was no centrally housed electronic database.
Published: 
Friday, September 9, 2011
Washington remains the only medical marijuana state not to have a patient registry. Washington’s medical marijuana law also fails to provide patients any protection from arrest.  Law enforcement resistance to providing arrest protection has been based in part on the absence of a state-run registry. Lawmakers tried to remedy this situation in the 2011 legislative session by including a cutting edge, privacy protecting patient registry in SB 5073 (sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, 36th District). 

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